Optimism growing among small manufacturers

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Small manufacturers are set to make the most of the strengthening UK economy by focusing on domestic markets for their future growth, the latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer suggests.

Over two thirds (67%) of companies questioned said felt that increasing sales at home offered them the best chance to expand. This was followed by new product development, improving production processes and over a third of firms (36%) who said they were focused on boosting export performance. There also appears to be significant confidence in longer term growth with respondents predicting a 64% rise in collective turnover and a 32% increase in staffing levels over the next four years. "There is significant confidence in the domestic marketplace at the moment, a further signal that the recovery has taken hold," said Steven Barr, head of MAS. "We've seen unrivalled investment in the UK automotive industry and that is cascading down the supply chain and creating new opportunities. Our reputation for low carbon advancement should also be another growth sector and I'm sure our manufacturing SMEs will be in line to take advantage of major infrastructure projects, such as Hinkley Point in Somerset and High Speed Rail."